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Admin made players swallow a bitter pill

The more things change, the more they stay the same. These words by a 19th century French journalist Jean-Baptise Alphonse Karr aptly describe the last 12 months of Rajasthan cricket. 2017 began on a promising note with five players from the state being picked up by different franchises for IPL. It was overwhelming to see how the left-arm pacer was pursued by one and all in the higher echelons of BCCI and its immediate sequel was that he was bought at a pretty high price of 2 crore at the auction. The then coach of Team India Anil Kumble even went on to say that the pacers Nathu Singh and Aniket Choudhary are on radar for future. While cricket was reverberating much to the pride of all, the din in the political corridors of RCA was jarring.The perennially fighting factions – Lalit Modi and CP Joshi camps, trumpeted about holding elections on the lines of Lodha recommendations with an eye on getting the 4-year long ban lifted from Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), but from the very outset things were murky. Amid all the melodrama, CP Joshi was elected the president of RCA, but the lust for power and supremacy of the warring office bearers from both the camp rendered the association ineffective. The number of court hearings outnumbered the number of matches held at SMS Stadium in the year 2017.BCCI too enacted their part in the plot and their reluctance to repeal the ban finally had Lalit Modi submit his resignation from all things cricket in the state. The very wary, apex cricket body lifted the ban almost 4 months after the resignation came, but with strings attached.While the political drama refused to cease, the promising players silently slipped into anonymity in the absence of any support. Now they are not in the ‘scheme of things’ of BCCI with new names from other states have come up. Now, one can only rue and regret, thinking­—how it would have been had the talented Aniket and Nathu got the support from the association to hone their skills. Moreover, it would have also helped Team Rajasthan to not end their Ranji Trophy run at the bottom of the table.Curtains down on yet another year of frustration for the cricketers and fans alike.TICKING SCORECARDFebruary 20: IPL 2017 AuctionJune 2: RCA ElectionJuly 14: Rajasthan Royals Back in FoldAugust 12: Lalit Modi Resigned as Prez of Nagaur DCADecember 11: BCCI Lifted the Ban from RCA

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Looking forward-2018: A possible make or break year for Rahul Gandhi

Indian politics in 2017 virtually followed the trajectory of the past couple of years. A predominately saffron domination interspersed by pockets of opposition resistance. But overall the polity has slowly shifted towards right with BJP slowly and steadily becoming the numero-uno force in India, with its government in 19 states of the country, either directly or in alliance. Yet, as we turn the chapter of another year, the opposition is hopeful of breaking the pattern, of putting up a real fight in 2019 general elections. Is it a misplaced bravado, just a delusion based on one-off Gujarat results? 2018 will provide strong clues in that direction. The elections to crucial battleground states of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are lined up in the coming year. These states in total have 93 Lok Sabha seats and in 2014 BJP had won a staggering 79 of those seats. Hence these states are vital in the national perspective and 2018 would be a fair indicator if BJP can repeat its stupendous performance in the next general elections. Karnataka is only the major state which is currently under Congress control. Slated to go to polls in April, it is number 1 in Amit Shah’s priority as he looks to reclaim the state under saffron fold. Shah is spending New Year’s Eve in Karnataka and already the state unit has launched a spirited campaign to dislodge Siddaramaiah. And here is where Rahul Gandhi needs to act, and act fast. In Gujarat, we saw he did a commendable job in galvanising the rural discontent against BJP government for Congress. But he failed to sway the swing voters who finally made all the difference. PM Modi’s masterstroke of changing the narrative in the last phase saved BJP from blushes. Rahul Gandhi needs to be proactive in Karnataka from the word go. Congress morale is currently in high after an improved performance in Gujarat. But a reversal in Karnataka can again get them to square one. Also readLooking forward – 2018: Amit Malviya sees a positive disruption in social mediaFor Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Rahul needs to fix the leadership issue. Congress needs a strong state leader to counter BJP’s aggressive onslaught and rock-solid organisation in each of these states. Empowering the younger generation is the only way out. In Madhya Pradesh, Congress is heavily divided into several factions. Each work on their own accord, without any central planning thus giving Shivraj Singh Chouhan a free pass. Can Rahul manage the senior leaders and give a free-hand to Jyotiraditya Scindia? It may determine the fate of Congress in the state. Mandsaur agitation showed the extent of farmer’s anger in MP. A charismatic leader may just tip the scale in Congress’ favour in this BJP stronghold. Similarly for Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot needs full backing of the High Command to oust Vasundhara Raje government, which has been plagued by many problems recently. Former CM Ashok Gehlot did a stellar job for the party in Gujarat. It will be up to Rahul to give him a respectable position without upsetting the current equation in Rajasthan and giving Pilot the full authority to run the campaign, like Captain Amarinder did in Punjab. Also read2017: A year of roller-coaster India-China relationshipIn Chhattisgarh, post the Ajit Jogi era, Congress has seen a bit of void in leadership talent. Here Rahul’s job is to scout for a leader who can take on the formidable Raman Singh. It’s not that winning these states is any guarantee to winning the General election. In 2003, BJP did commendably well in these states and then slumped to an unexpected loss in 2004. But for 132-year-old Congress gasping for life, state victories or even improved performance in some of the states will provide much needed fillip to its sagging fortunes. And more importantly, it will earn Rahul Gandhi much needed respect among his peers. That he is not merely a leader who is the President of Congress by dint of his surname, he actually has the mettle to challenge the Shah-Modi campaign. It will help Congress to get the opposition united in 2019. A BSP in UP or DMK in Tamil Nadu or even the Left, TMC may only be inclined to support Congress, if they think Rahul Gandhi has a realistic chance of becoming the next PM of India.That’s why 2018 is so politically important. A clean sheet for BJP in this year would mean Congress staring down the barrel before the 2019 LS Polls. It would significantly reduce Rahul’s legitimacy to stake claim as being the natural leader of the opposition camp. Many regional satraps will be more than willing to occupy that position. Hence 2018’s Congress fight with BJP will have the larger subtext of Rahul Gandhi establishing himself as first among the equals in the opposition camp. He has several tricky decisions to make, about how to counter BJP’s Hindutva agenda and countering their development message. Truly a tricky year in offing for the Janeu-dhari Brahmin which may make or break his political career.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Palace on Wheels finally on maiden trip

The heritage Palace on Wheels will finally arrive in Jaipur with 24 tourists on board on its maiden tour .Pradeep Bohra, general manager of the train who is accompanying the tourists, informed that the train left from Delhi’s Safdarganj station and will arrive at Jaipur’s Gandhinagar station on the last leg of its Golden Triangle circuit tour — which includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.Train officials were exhilarated over the maiden voyage of this train as it took quite some effort to get the tourists on board the luxury train.The passengers were given a warm departure in Delhi with band playing music and with all the gala celebration. The preparations are now being made at Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) for the train’s arrival.The success of the train is essential for RTDC as it also plans a tour on Shekhwati circuit starting this January .This is the third royal super luxury train in Rajasthan which is being run by RTDC.While palace on wheels is a known name, RTDC had for years also run RROW (Royal Rajasthan on wheels) which was discontinued only few months back .Before starting off on the voyage it was kept at Bais godown railway station and was sent to Delhi few days back .The train will depart from Jaipur on Saturday itself at 8:30 pm from Durgapura station.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Rajasthan govt puts 14,000 shell cos under scanner

Struck off by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, thousands of shell companies registered in Rajasthan have now come under the state government scanner. The state industries department has on Thursday written to all district collectors and several departments to identify assets of these companies in the next 15 days.”More than 14,000 companies registered in Rajasthan are among the 2,24,734 listed as suspicious by the central ministry. The industry department is a nodal agency that has now initiated action against these at the state-level,” said Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Rajasthan industries minister.To be struck off, these companies have been dormant for nearly two years or have registered suspicious transactions since demonetization.After the central ministry action, which had extended restrictions on their bank accounts, the responsibility to prevent sale of their immovable properties and other assets is to be ensured by respective state government.Industry department of the state, as nodal agency, has now written to departments of transport, revenue, tourism and other concerned departments to ensure that no vehicle, land or asset gets disposed.In addition to the companies registered at state, such companies based in other states could also have held assets in Rajasthan.”However, the state agencies have to remain aware of the dubious operations of many of these companies. Also the department is yet to decide on action against the operation of ‘suspicious board directors’ of these companies,” he said.The central ministry, while cancelling registration of these companies, also disqualified over three lakh board directors for irregularities in financial statements.On the radarTo be struck off, these companies have been dormant for nearly two years or have registered suspicious transactions since demonetisation

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

MLA to resign over Rajasthan doctors’ strike

Even as the Rajasthan government heaved a sigh of relief as the 12-day doctors’ strike finally ended on Wednesday, former minister of state for health and current independent MLA from Navalgarh, Rajkumar Sharma has announced that he will on Friday resign from the legislative Assembly as protest against the government’s handling of the strike. The BJP has termed Sharma’s action a ‘publicity stunt’.Sharma says he is protesting the government’s inaction in ending the doctors’ strike. Speaking to DNA, Sharma said, “The government and the health minister are responsible for the second round of the strike and subsequent deaths of the poor patients. What was the need for the minister to issue statements to antagonize the doctors and arbitarily transfer them? There were strikes even when we were in government, but we never abused the doctors,” he said.On Friday, Sharma plans to meet the assembly speaker to submit his resignation. “I will urge the speaker to seek permission from the Governor to call an assembly session for this issue. I will also ask that an FIR be registered against those responsible,” he added.However, dismissing his move, health minister Kalicharan Saraf said, “This is a publicity stunt. He wants to attract attention. Were there no doctors’ strikes during their government’s tenure? We ended the strike in 12 days; they took 14.”

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

GST: 5 undue profiteering cases reported

There have been 5 complaints in Rajasthan against undue profiteering under GST. A four-member committee which was set up by the ministry of finance after GST was implemented to receive the complaints of undue profiteering by any entity under the GST regime has got these complaints.These complaints from the state are part of 70 complaints which have been received by this committee across the country. The highest number of complaints has been received in Haryana with 45 number of complaints while Rajasthan along with Andhra Pradesh is on number two in the list with 5-5 complaints each.These complaints are now being examined by the state level screening committee. Interestingly, these complaints were received from only 11 states and the total number of complaints was 70. Rajasthan is one of these states in the list which includes apart from Rajasthan, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh, states like Jharkhand, Maharashtra, National capital territory of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, Chattisgarh, and Tamilnadu.While most of these states are considered more industrialize than Rajasthan, they all had complaints number less than Rajasthan.Notably, section 171 of GST deals with rules related to anti-profiteering and a committee and the national anti-profiteering authority may determine the methodology and procedure for determination as to whether the reduction in rate of tax on the supply of goods or services or the benefit of input tax credit has been passed on by the registered person to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in prices.The authority while examining the case may also order to reduce the price.The complaints are currently being examined by the state level screening committee.Screening panelThe screening committee may examine if the supplier has contravened the provisions of section 171, forward the application with its recommendations to the Standing Committee for further action. The authority may also order to reduce the price.

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In eight years, only one transgender gets fellowship for minorities

Only one transgender student was awarded fellowship by the Ministry of Minority Affairs under its ‘Maulana Azad National Fellowship’ scheme since 2009-10, the Lok Sabha was informed today.The Ministry is implementing MANF for minority students for pursuing higher studies such as full time M.Phil/Ph.D degrees in sciences, humanities, social sciences and engineering and technology.Over 750 students belonging to the minority communities get the fellowships every year, Minority Affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said in written reply.”During the selection year 2017-18, one online application was received from candidate belonging to transgender community and was awarded fellowship,” he said.The student was the first in the transgender category to secure fellowship under the scheme since 2009-10.In 2017-18, Muslim students were awarded 517 fellowships, followed by Christian (109), Sikh (72), Buddhist (33) and Jain (25).Replying to another question, Naqvi said 18 states have constituted their own state minority commissions so far.However, no such panel was set up by any state or Union Territory in the last two years.Responding to another query, the minister said the National Wakf Development Corporation (NAWADCO) has identified properties across India, inlcuding Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Jodhpur, Pune and Aurangabad (Maharashtra) for consideration of development.He said Rajasthan has also shown interest in getting properties in Jaipur and Kota developed through NAWADCO.Letters of Expression of Interest have been received from State Waqf Boards of Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chandigarh for commercial development of 24 waqf properties, Naqvi said.

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Rajasthan govt needs more time for decision on farmer ease?

A minister-level committee chaired by Water Resources minister Ram Pratap on Tuesday discussed a study report drafted on the module of farmers loan waivers in Kerala and other states. The committee took the decision to examine the report deeply, which indicates the government wants to buy more time to make any decision on loan waivers for the agrarian community.“The committee will study the report and later will make decisions accordingly. We have to observe financial aspect as well, but we have a target to make farmers debt free. Hopefully, there may be a good news for the farmers in the new year,” said Prabhu Lal Saini, one of the members of the committee, talking to DNA. The chairperson of the committee was not reachable on phone for comment over the development, though. A presentation was given by the officials about farmers loan waiver during the meeting as well. Raje government appears to be in action mode on farmers loan waiver demand which the opposition has started making a poll issue. In Ajmer, Alwar parliamentary and Mandalgarh assembly constituencies bypoll the Congress will churn out this issue to woo farmers. RPCC chief Sachin Pilot, taking out a Nyay Yatra a couple of months back in Hadoti region, already indicated that farmers issues come at the top of the party.Congress is simultaneously raising the issue of farmers suicide making a pressure on the government. “BJP ruled states have gone and given farm loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. There is no reason why Rajasthan farmers who are facing severe agrarian distress and are committing suicides, should not be given a farm loan waiver. The government should take waive loans immediately,” said a Congress leader reacting to the development of the meeting. Though, the burden with complete loan waiver decision can’t be ignored by the government. The demand for waive farm loans up to Rs 50,000 per farmer would cumulatively amount to Rs 20,000 crore on the exchequer.Opposition raising the issueCongress is simultaneously raising the issue of farmers suicide making a pressure on the government. “BJP ruled states have gone and given farm loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The government should take waive loans immediately,” said a Congress leader reacting to the development of the meeting.Although, the burden with complete loan waiver decision can’t be ignored by the government. The demand for waive farm loans up to Rs 50,000 per farmer would cumulatively amount to Rs 20,000 crore on the exchequer.

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Gangster nabbed for mass rapes, extortion

A notorious gangster, responsible for the plight of hundreds of families, has been nabbed by the Delhi Police. One of the dreaded duo that ran the gang, Hussain, a resident of village Tayda in Bharatpur, was brought to Delhi two days ago.According to the Delhi Police investigation, the gang of two first lured businessmen in the name of attractive deals on electronic and other products, and a holiday trip around Delhi. They would then kidnap the victims, take them to Mewat and get them raped and sodomised by locals. This sexual abuse was filmed to extort money. The gang operated in Haryana and Rajasthan, and had made Delhi a transit place. The cops are now trying to identity and approach the victims and retrieve videos of sexual abuse. According to the police, the gang would give advertisements on vernacular websites and in dailies in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh claiming that it sold electronic items in bulk at cheap prices. “Thereafter, the gangsters would call and mail local businessmen in these states and tempt them with attractive deals,” a police officer said, adding that once the businessmen were convinced, they were offered a holiday trip, along with their family members, to Delhi and nearby areas.After trapping the businessmen and their families, the gang would take the victims to Mewat. “The kidnapped businessmen were sodomised, their wives and daughters raped by local youths, teenagers, and other gang members, and this sexual abuse was filmed. Hussain and his accomplice Hasan would also demand ransom from their families, ranging from Rs 20-50 lakh,” the police officer said. The families were told that if they approached the police, the videos would be uploaded on the adult websites.

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International airport at Jhalawar soon

Good news for people of south Rajasthan. The state government is going to build an international airport at Kolana in Jhalawar district. It will be constructed in three phases. First phase of the airport for domestic travellers is likely to be ready by August 2018.There is already a 5,976-feet long airstrip at Kolana from where small chartered planes have been operating. The airport is spread over 85 acres and a building is also there.A private company Sangeet Aviation has already submitted consultancy report to PWD. The company has estimated Rs 169 crore for construction of the first phase. The building will be in pyramid shape and will have four floors with a height of 12 metres. Width of the runway will be extended from 100 to 150 feet and in the next phase runway’s length will also be increased.Initially, the plan is to make it suitable for landing of ATR-72 and Airbus, which can carry 180 passengers. Later, even Airbus 380 will also be able to operate from here, which at present operates only between Delhi and Mumbai.Since, the first phase will have only domestic flights, there will be no immigration and customs counters.CEO of Sangeeta Aviation Amit Agrawal said that this will be first airport in pyramid shape from energy conservation viewpoint. Apart from departure and arrival terminals, there will also be a cargo terminal as well as fire station, ATC block, DVOR. If the work begins in January, there is strong possibility of flight operations from August.Airport will have8 counters in departure building 4 check in and 2 security counters – Passenger holding area, VIP lounge and Back office Art gallery, toilets and children care room. Lift and escalators Food court and shops Bar, lift and office at first floor 2 conveyor belts and eight immigration counters Detention room and eight ticket counters

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Rajasthan fails to safeguard sloth bears

The Rajasthan government is reportedly not doing enough to save the sloth bears in the state.In 2005, the Sariska Tiger Reserve near Alwar saw a tragedy with all the tigers in the park lost to poaching. It was shocking because it was not before several months had passed that the forest department and the state government took notice of the situation. Although tigers were then trans-located into the reserve – of which a good numbers are surviving today – but a decade since the debacle, another blunder is about to take place, this time due to the apathy of the forest department.Due to the lethargic attitude of the department, the chance to revive a species long extinct in the area has now been lost. The species being talked about is the sloth bear, which was once abundant in the entire Aravalli range.In March 2013, a lone bear had strayed into a village near Malarna forest check post under Rajgarh forest of Sariska tiger Reserve. The six-year-old bear had come from Bharatpur. It was rescued and relocated in Kalighati forest area and the animal marked its territory in the park. It roamed around Kankwari, Tehla, Kalighati, Slopka region till Pandupol forest in the park covering a huge area. With this, hopes to revive the species were ignited. But four years since the bear was brought to Sariska, there is no representation of the species in the area. Whats more, the bear has not been sighted by forest officials for nearly a year.”There were no signs of the bear in the last year. We have not come across any carcass. We do not know if the animal was poached or has gone out of the area or has died a natural death” a highly placed official in the department said.Thought was given to the possiblity of reviving the species and plans were also made. However, the department took too long to formulate as in 2015 the final report for reintroduction was completed and tabled. “A factual report, along with a Sloth Bear Reintroduction Project, was forwarded to the forest department in May 2013 year regarding bringing a female bear to the park. It was, however, not put up before the Wildlife Board for consideration,” a forest official told DNA.More red tapeism followed in the state government and the final nod was received in 2017 from NTCA. “There was a glitch, however. The department could not just lift any female bear but the ones that had strayed out of the forest and towards city or village and was healthy to undertake such a journey could only be shifted,” sources said.Officials in the knowhow claim that there have been several incidences over the years particularly in Sirohi district wherein sloth bears have ventured out of the forest areas.But officials claim that the animal might have moved out of area. “Although it has not been sighted for a long time, we think the bear might have gone out of the area and towards Jamwa Ramgarh. It is a free ranging animal and might have gone anywhere” said Balaji Kari, DFO Sariska.Interestingly, reports of a bear in Jamwa Ramgarh have not been received over the past several months.

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CBI fails to keep accused in Rs 180 cr fraud behind bars

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court pulled up the agency for opposing the bail application of one of accused arrested by the agency in a corruption case, as the agency failed to give proper reasoning for opposing his bail. The court held that the accused Pavan Saini, a Rajasthan resident, has assured to co-operate with the investigating officer also the agency does not say if the accused will flee, thus there seems no reason to not to let the accused free on bail.A case was registered by the CBI against Suja Koshi and many others, which included Saini. CBI alleged that a fraud of Rs 180 crores pertaining to misappropriation of amount by transferring through Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to oriental bank of commerce, Malad branch, for purpose of creating term deposit on February 12 and 17,2014 and that the fraud have been committed by all of the accused.The accused in his plea had claimed that most of the accused who were arrested in the case were granted bail and thus on the ground of parity, even he should be granted bail.The CBI in their reply had said that the accused was involved in very serious economic offence involved in fraud of around Rs 180 crores. His role is very serious. The accused deserves no leniency in such fraud of huge amount. He along with other accused has caused serious injury to the economic fabric of nation.The court in its order said, “The grounds of objection raised by the CBI does not reveal that the accused may flee from clutches of law or he may not appear at time of hearing. The presence of accused can be secured by imposing condition. The trial will take its own time. The nature of offense is such that the custody of accused for further investigation is not required. If he is kept in custody, there is every possibility of he coming in contact with harden criminals and hence in the interest of justice, the accused should be released on bail.”

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Rajasthan Bus Accident: Survivors say minor was rashly driving bus

Survivors of the bus that met with an accident on Saturday in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan believe they were lucky enough to have escaped the clutches of death. The state government said that an action would be taken against the bus owner and also announced compensation to the families of the deceased and injured. Kamlesh Devi, a victim of the bus accident, was travelling from Uttar Pradesh to Ramdeviji Temple with her daughter, mother-in-law and pregnant sister-in-law and her two kids. Lying on the hospital bed she said, ” “I am married for six years. I have one daughter. But my family wants a son. So, I was coming to the temple to seek a baba’s (traditional healer) blessing so I give birth to a boy.” She also adds that three of her family members were with her but is clueless of the rest. Anurag Prajapat, 13, was travelling with his father vinod to Ramdevji temple to seek blessings. “I am unable to straighten my hands and we wanted to seek blessings at the temple so I get cured,” he said. His father was admitted to a ICU of a hospital.Also readRajasthan: 32 killed as bus falls into riverAnurag and his father were coming from Madhya Pradesh to visit the temple. He said that the bus was being driven rashly by a teenager.33 people were killed on Saturday when a private bus fell into Banas river from a nearly 100-foot high bridge in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur district, police said. The bus was ferrying passengers from Lal Soth to Sawai Madhopur. According to media reports, the bus was being driven by a 16-year-old conductor who was allegedly speeding and lost control over the vehicle.Injured passengers were rushed to nearby hospitals. District officials are supervising the rescue operations. “There were around 50 passengers in the bus. The injured have been taken to nearby hospitals,” a senior police officer said.The bus had left Sawai Madhopur at 5 am. After breaking the railing of the bridge the bus fell into the river at around 6 am. Passengers were from other states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Assam. Several of them were going to offer prayers at a temple in Malarna Chour in the district, Police said.

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TISS cancels talk on caste politics and cow vigilantism

An event organised by a group of students at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on Friday — where lawyer and politician Prakash Ambedkar and activist Teesta Setalvad were to speak – was not granted permission by the administration citing over-scheduling. However, students say the cancellation was linked to current political scenario.The program ‘Contemporary Politics of Hatred: Cow Vigilantism, Caste Atrocities and Islamophobia’ was organised by the Students of TISS in resistance (STIR), a collective that was formed to protest the killing of Mohammed Afrazul in Rajasthan.On Friday morning, STIR announced on its Facebook page that the programme stands cancelled as the administration has not granted permission. “The administration has stated that the reason for cancellation is the scheduling of multiple programs on the same day… We believe that the reasons for cancellation are linked to the current political scenario where those critical of the government are being denied spaces to engage with larger public! In these times when the attacks on various marginalized sections are at a peak, it is very unfortunate that TISS has taken a step back from letting the students discuss and understand the political developments around us” read the post. Dr S Parasuraman, Director, TISS said “The students approached us only two days before the event. There are already three events organised within the campus on the same day and around the same time and we could not grant permission”.

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Rajasthan: 32 killed as bus falls into river

At least 32 people were killed on Saturday when a private bus fell into Banas river from a nearly 100- foot high bridge in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur district, police said. The bus was ferrying passengers from Lal Soth to Sawai Madhopur.Injured passeners have been rushed to a nearby hospital. District officials are supervising the resuce operations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered his condolences to the families of the affected.Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje also tweeted that the state government has been closely monitoring the situation and rescue operations are on.Congress president Rahul Gandhi has tweeted, “Saddened by the tragedy. My condolences are with the families of the deceased. I would appeal to the state government to offer immediate help to the affected.”Fog is believed to be the cause of the accident. Despite it being Saturday, there were many passengers on the bus who were going to offer prayers at a temple in Malarna Chour. “There were around 50 passengers in the bus. The injured have been taken to nearby hospitals,” a senior police officer said.The bus had left Sawai Madhopur at 5 am. After breaking the railing of the bridge the bus fell into the river at around 6 am. Passengers were from other states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Assam. Several of them were going to offer prayers at a temple in Malarna Chour in the district, Police said.

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Gujarat constructed most houses for urban poor: Official data

Gujarat has constructed the most number of houses for the urban poor under the Centre’s flagship housing scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)’ in the country, official data shows.As many as 54,474 houses have been constructed in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, since 2014-15 under the scheme.This accounts for 18.70 percent of the 2.91 lakh total houses constructed in 36 states and UTs in the country, according to the data of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.Gujarat has received the central assistance of Rs 1,355 crore for construction of these houses.Under the PMAY(U) scheme, the government targets to construct 1.2 crore affordable houses for urban poor across the country by 2022. The government provides central assistance under various components for construction of the houses. Gujarat was followed by Karnataka with the construction of about 33,450 houses since 2014-15.Tamil Nadu constructed 32,730 houses, followed by Madhya Pradesh (27,862), Jharkhand (27,308), West Bengal (24,166), Maharashtra (22,699) and Andra Pradesh (21,794), according to the data.Delhi constructed 1,262 houses for urban poor, while Rajasthan constructed 12,274 houses.Tripura and Uttar Pradesh constructed between 5,000 and 10,000 houses, while Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Orissa, Punjab, Telangana and Uttarakhand constructed between 1,000 and 5,000 houses. Sikkim had just one house constructed under the scheme so far.Other states and union territories that had constructed less than 100 houses included Auranchal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Goa, Meghalaya and Puducherry.

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Rajasthan community protests release of Tiger Zinda Hai; allege Salman Khan insulted them

A community from Rajashtan raised slogans and tore posters of the Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif movie Tiger Zinda Hai that released nationwide on Friday.The members of the community alleged that the actor, during an episode of Bigg Boss, had insulted the community by using pejoratives against lower castes during the show.In Rajasthan, protests were seen across cinema halls in Jaipur and in KotaAs a result, several morning shows have been cancelled in the state.The police ensured that the protests did not turn violent and remanded several people in custody.The movie, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar is a sequel to Kabir Khan’s bockbuster Ek Tha Tiger. The movie-goers and Salman’s fans have a lot of expectations from Tiger Zinda Hai as the film brings back the jodi of Salman and Katrina on the silver screens after five years.Going by the advance bookings for Tiger Zinda Hai, looks like the movie should manage to rake in a total of approx Rs 30-35 crore on day one of its release. Ever since the advance bookings opened on Sunday, the film recorded a sharp increase in the number of bookings.Going by the current trends, the film’s trailer and songs have generated enough buzz to pull the fans to the theatres on day one. The collections from day two onwards will depend on the reviews and word of mouth of the audience as well.

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State departments should make Rajasthan ODF: CM Vasundhara Raje

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje presided over the 7th Raj Vikas Meeting on Thursday and reviewed the progress of various schemes across the state. She also directed officials to work on war path to include Rajasthan cities in top 50 cleanliest cities of the country. “The government is working to make Rajasthan an ODF State by March,18. The State departments should make ODF State as well as bring its cities in the Top-50 cleanest cities. The initiative under Swacch Bharat Abhiyan has picked up massively in the state,” said a statement quoting Raje as saying. Through video conferencing, the collectors informed the CM of the progress of works in their respective districts during the meeting. Raje, meanwhile, directed Principal Secretary, LSG Manjit Singh and Panchayati Raj Secretary, Naveen Mahajan to monitor the progress of ODF in various districts and form special units and cells to speed up work. She expressed satisfaction and voiced appreciation on the swift action on issues discussed in the previous meetings. Raje stated that the impressive growth and progress of projects under the Centre and State’s flagship schemes is an indication that Rajasthan is on the path to becoming a model state and the officials should continue to work with dedication. She said the state of Rajasthan has shown improvement in various indicators and now time has come for re-engineering current systems to simplify lengthy processes that often become a hindrance to investment and growth.

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BJP toes Congress line of caste-niti

Accusing Congress of resorting to caste politics in recently concluded assembly elections at Gujarat, the BJP itself seems to have learned lesson of the same. Ahead of by-elections scheduled at Rajasthan BJP has begun to strengthen its caste cadre and focus on the new voters at the state. Party’s organisation secretary, P Chandrashekhar on Thursday took a session at party state headquarters at Jaipur on its proposed ‘Nav- Matdata Abhiyan’ aimed to increase association of young voters.A day earlier Chandrashekhar along with party state president Ashok Parnami has held a session of the Dalit public representatives of the party. The party at Rajasthan has divided its legislators into caste base categories and tends to assign them a responsibility to ensure support from their respective community. “The meeting of Dalit MLA’s was first in the sequence, we will be soon holding similar meetings of public representatives of other castes,” BJP state president Ashok Parnami briefed on the party plans. BJP at Gujarat was unable to keep intact the ‘Hindu’ votes as several caste swung towards Congress, it also suffered a decline in the share of young voters below 25 years of age. Thus as the responsibility of caste votes is handed over to MLAs of the respective caste, the task to associate young voters has been assigned to the party’s youth wing, Yuva Morcha. On Thursday, BJP’s state organising secretary Chandrashekhar attended a workshop of the Yuva Morcha along with state general secretary Bhajanlal Sharma and state Yuva Morcha president Ashok Saini. Here the participants were briefed on the campaign by a trainer from Delhi. “The nav-metadata program is being launched on instructions of the central leadership and will cover all universities and colleges of the state,” said Bhajanalal Sharma. It is, however, the backward caste votes that remain a major concern for the party. Vote bank Dalits are estimated around 20% of total voters were traditionally Congress supporters but switched sides in the last y elections. Ajmer and Alwar where by-elections where dalit voters hold the key, which is why BJP has given prominence place to their leaders in party like Kalisah Meghwal.

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Rajasthan minister’s sons accused of assault

Two sons of a Rajasthan minister, along with others, allegedly abducted and thrashed a man in Alwar district, police said on Thursday.The incident occurred last evening when Surendra Bhadana and Hitesh Bhadana, sons of General Administration Department (GAD) minister Hem Singh Bhadana, along with 10 others, allegedly abducted one Tej Singh Yadav and thrashed him, they said.”Yadav was admitted to a local hospital for treatment. He said 12 persons, including Surendra and Hitesh, abducted and thrashed him,” Vinod Samaria, SHO of the Shivaji park police station, said.”Reasons behind the incident are not clear yet,” he said, adding that the investigation is underway.No arrest have been made so far, Samaria said.The minister could not be approached for his comments.

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‘Disruption’ during Christmas celebration in Rajasthan, Hindu activists allege religious conversions

Christmas celebrations in Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh town were allegedly disrupted by Hindu activists on Tuesday. Hindu activists have alleged that organisers were carrying out religious conversions. According to reports, around 7: 30 pm on Tuesday, a group of people accompanied by the police arrived and ordered the organisers of the event to halt the proceedings. A couple of tribals were allegedly taken into the custody but later released, say media reports. Police officers have denied the allegations of vandalism. “The organisers did not have permission to hold a religious gathering. So, they voluntarily halted the programme upon being approached by the police,” Hindustan Times quoted Pratapgarh superintendent of police Shivraj Meena as saying. The organisers have submitted a memorandum to the district administration, demanded action against those who disrupted the programme. Both the parties have not registered an FIR in the case. Some villagers have alleged that tension has been brewing up for a long time here. “Pratapgarh is a tribal area, the people are being lured to convert,” alleged Sachin Patwa, a villager who demanded action against such conversion. The organisers have denied allegations of conversions. “We come here to pray, and don’t offer any inducement to make people convert,” said Ramesh, Secretary Masih Shakti Samiti. Senior leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Shiv Sena have denied any knowledge of the incident.

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State makes giant leap in mother and child healthcare

Rajasthan has become a pioneer state in terms of setting up laboratories to train ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery) and GNM (General Nursing and Midwives) in nourishment courses for the health of mothers and infants. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje launched 47 such modern labs on Tuesday, along with initiating ‘Rajsangam’ programme which is a part of Akshada program being run by the state government with the assistance of Tata Trust and Antara Foundation. “Rajasthan has become first state in the county where such modern labs equipped with latest instruments have been set for pre-service nursing education program. This costs Rs12.5 crore to the government. Of them, 33 labs are for ANM training and 14 for GNM,” said a statement released by the CMO. On this occasion, Raje stressed the need for using information technology (IT) to improve maternity services. “Nourishment levels of mother and child have been improved under Akshada programme. A big change is expected under the program when it gets implemented further with the help of IT,” said Raje. The Antara Foundation’s Akshada program focuses on the critical ‘1000 days’ between conception and age two. It is designed to influence the most critical markers of maternal and child health such as maternal anaemia, neo-natal and infant mortality and immunisation Raje said that under the program over 2,600 villages have been mapped so far in Jhalawar and Baran districts. “It is important to note that workers at grassroots level have been connected under the program. Aasha, ANM and Anganwadi workers (triple A) who work as frontline workers for mother and child health improvement have been brought together under the program and villages mapping is on.” The CM has also revealed a app ‘Triple A’, a comics titled ‘Hum he Triple A’ and a CD on ‘Jago Ri Kishori’. EQUIPPED WITH LATEST“Rajasthan has become first state where such modern labs equipped with latest instruments have been set for pre-service nursing education programme. This costs Rs12.5 crore to the government,” said a statement released by the CMO.

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Gujarat effect: Audio of song eulogising Ashok Gehlot goes viral

A graceful defeat of Congress in Gujarat assembly polls, where former CM Ashok Gehlot played a pivotal role in the party’s campaign spearheaded by Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, has boosted morale of his supporters in Rajasthan and they are celebrating his ‘performance’ in their unique way. Just two days after the poll results, an audio of a song composed in regional dialect has been circulating on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook. It begins with the singer asking ‘What is your name’ and second singer says his name is former CM Ashok Gehlot, recognising him Jannayak, ‘leader of masses’.Crediting him for creating a thunder in Gujarat polls and shaking politics in Rajasthan, the song further says as a politician he will create clatter in entire country soon. He has been referred to ‘heart beat of the youths’ in the song as well. As assembly polls are nearing, his supporters on social media have become active, projecting two times of CM Gehlot as a mass leader. Although who has composed the song is yet to be ascertained, it wants to create an air of his popularity, even before by-polls in Mandalgarh assembly, and Alwar and Ajmer parliamentary constituencies.Gehlot, with the Gujarat assembly polls, has emerged as a stalwart and an impressive poll manager handcrafting campaigning and giving a tough fight to the BJP in its fortress, where it has ruled nearly 22 years. His skills in strengthening party in Gujarat are expected to reap benefits in his home state Rajasthan and he could be seen in a new role of chief aide of Gandhi as well.His increasing clout in the party has silent the rumour mills which had started spinning his departure from state politics and admission in Central leadership when he was sent to Gujarat. A group within the party even started claiming that he has been given tough task to fight in Modi’s Gujarat where defeat of Congress will signal his farewell from active politics. Now, the scenario has been changed completely and his zealous supporters are cashing in on it.‘HEART BEAT OF YOUTH’Crediting him for creating a thunder in Gujarat polls and shaking politics in Rajasthan, the song further says as a politician he will create clatter in entire country soon. He has been referred to ‘heart beat of the youths’ in the song.

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SDRF conducts safeguard drill in city school

Imagine a situation when a child is studying in a school and suddenly an earthquake hits the area bringing a building to collapse. The injuries in such a situation could be tremendous, however with the right knowledge on how to safeguard oneself at such times, an ill result could be averted. Based on scientific studies on such topics, the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) organised a demonstration in a city-based school on Wednesday.In the demonstration, school students from a private school in Subhash Chowk area were shown a power point presentation on various disasters and how to respond to such a situation in order to stay unhurt followed by a live demonstration.“The PPT consists of information regarding general disasters like earthquakes, fire incidents, building collapse and aquatic disaster. It informs the students on how to respond to such situations, for example, one should get under a table if an earthquake hits an area or how to tackle a situation when a building collapses” said B L Soni, Additional Director General, SDRF. Interestingly, the drive is not a first of its kind rather has been going on across the state for the past one year. “We started this drive from January this year. We have eight companies of SDRF in Rajasthan and every fortnight, the companies approach one school where the drill is conducted. Owing to various holidays and examination schedules, thus far the two companies in Jaipur have completed the demonstration in thirty schools” the ADG informed.The official further added, “Basically it is undertaken so that the teachers, school administration and most importantly the children know not to panic in situations rather to respond to safeguard themselves. Every drill is around an hour long with fifteen minutes of PPT presentation followed by questions from students and staff after which demonstrations are done for disasters.”

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Poor visibility forces Railways to cancel trains

As many as four trains had to be cancelled while at least eight had their routes cut short due to fog and operational reasons in Delhi Division of Northern Railways on Wednesday. No cancellation or diversion of flights was, however, reported due to adverse weather conditions.Over the last week, a dense fog covered several parts of North India, with the temperature dropping in Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. According to senior railway officers, trains that underwent cancellation included Dirugarh-Lalgarh Awadh Assam Express, Lalgarh- Dirugarh Awadh Assam Express and New Delhi-Rohtak-New Delhi Intercity Express. They further added that some of the trains undergoing short termination are Allahabad-Saharanpur Nauchandi Express, Allahabad-Saharanpur-Allahabad Nauchandi Express, Delhi-Fazilka express and Delhi-Fazilka-Delhi Express train.”As the situation is expected to get worse with deteriorating weather conditions, special arrangements are being made to manage it. The Railway Protection Force has also been told to be vigilant for crowd management and crime prevention. Mechanical measures to ensure smooth and safe train operations are also being taken, the officer added.

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Rajasthan High Court notice to Centre over curbs on condom ads on TV

The Rajasthan High Court in Jaipur has issued a show cause notice to the Center for issuing an advisory to broadcasters about not telecasting and airing condom advertisements between 6 am and 10 pm. A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajong and Justice DC Somani issued the notices.Counsel for litigant, Prateek Kasliwal, told DNA, “Notices have been issued to two ministries, namely the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Ministry of Health to respond within eight weeks. They have been asked as to why the advisory should not be annulled on account of being arbitrary.”The said advisory had been issued citing exposure of children to explicit material and advertisements.The notices have been issued on a petition filed by an NGO called Global Alliance for Human Health, alleging that the action of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is against the interest of public.It also alleges that it vindicates the hypocritical approach wherein the government, on one hand, promotes awareness about family planning, AIDS and STD; and on the other hand, it obstructs dissemination of condom advertisements which are crucial for family planning, decreasing abortion deaths, and spreading awareness about HIV-AIDS and STDs.A copy of the PIL available with DNA further reads that children and adolescents must know about safe sex and be given sex education.The petition questioned the rationale of the advisory, “There is no iota of reason as to how an advertisement for condom is an unhealthy practice,” reads the PIL. “The same has also been interpreted wrong by the respondent as it would be creating unhealthy/indecent/undignified impression over children which would promote unhealthy/indecent/undignified practices among them, whereas the respondent, with all due respect, has ignored the vulnerable and major group of adolescents who require knowledge of sex education.”

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‘Good business’ means children go to school

A business approach to improving schools in India will mean investment is directly linked to pupil achievement.

MPAT phase-II: After 2 yrs, University of Rajasthan accepts application

The University of Rajasthan has started taking applications for MPAT phase II, the entrance exam for PhD and M.Phil students. This has happened after two years when the last exam was conducted. Students were enrolled in the university for the course in 2015 when entrance for MPAT phase II was conducted.Deepak Bhatnagar, co-ordinator, MPAT 2017, informed that the overall number of seats available for PhD aspirants have gone down due to several reasons. One reason for the same is the reduction in the total number of seats by University Grants Commission.“The UGC has reduced the number of students that a guide can take. Assistant and associate professors can take only four and six students respectively, where earlier they could take eight students each,” Bhatnagar said. “Teachers are slowly retiring in our university and there are no new appointments, this is also affecting the overall number of seats,” he added.However, he informed that the university has asked the various government and private colleges to associate with it as a ‘research centre’. “I am hopeful that more seats can be introduced in the next session,” Bhatnagar said.AspirationsPhD aspirants have taken the step positively, though half-heartedly as all departments have not shown availability of seats. “History, Political Science, and Sanskrit do not have seats for PhD. The first two subjects are in a critical condition as it has a lot of students waiting to get into the course, but, there are no guides. In addition to that, there are certain teachers in the university who have not completed their documentation, hence, they cannot become guides,” said Suman Kumari, research student president. “Furthermore, certain teachers in the Chemistry department have the capability to become guides, but, the university is now allowing them,” she said.

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Rajasthan adopting BJP’s Gujarat win formula

The state BJP is not only adopting Gujrat’s “Development Model” but also its “Organization model.” Due to the organizational structure of the party, BJP is winning consecutively in Gujarat. Now, the same organizational pattern is being readied in Rajasthan.In order to win the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly by elections and general elections, the state BJP has started preparing “Panna Pramukh” in Rajasthan on the lines of Gujarat.Firstly, “Panna Pramukh“ is being made in the constituencies which are heading for bypolls. After the by-elections, “Panna Pramukh” will be made across the state.Following the historic victory in Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the BJP has adopted Gujarat’s organizational model for organizational expansion and strengthening nationwide.In this connection, work was done to eliminate ward unit and build booth committee. The concept of booth committee has been in vogue in Gujarat for years. Booth committees have been formed in Rajasthan in the last three years. Following this, an important concept emerged as “Panna Pramukh”. The BJP’s national president Amit Shah appointed an in-charge (Panna Pramukh) for every page of the voting list in Gujarat. So that the BJP worker can reach every voter and the responsibility of the party worker is fixed. Due to this “Panna Pramukh” concept, the BJP has won Gujarat for the sixth consecutive time. In Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, the concept of the “Panna Pramukh” was also adopted and the result is there for everyone to witnessRajasthan, whoch goes to poes in 2018 December is fast pulling up its socks and has also adopted this pattern.According to BJP officials, the first booth committee has now been formed at all the 49,000 polling booths across the state. After completion of this work, project “Panna Pramukh” has been initiated.Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies and in the Mandalgarh assembly constituency bypolls is knocking. As a result, the party has swiftly swung into action and initiated the Panna project here. State General Secretary (organization) Chandra Shekhar himself is monitoring the work.” There are 600 to 12000 voters (approx) in a polling booth. A “Panna Pramukh” will be fixed for a page of the voter list. There are about 60 voters on one page. A BJP worker will be in charge of each page consisting 60 voters.49,000 boothsFirstly, “Panna Pramukh“ is being made in the constituencies which are heading for bypolls. 1st booth panel has now been formed at all the 49k polling booths.

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Jaipur local polls land in Cong’s lap

Even as the euphoria of the Gujarat Assembly election results is settling, the Rajasthan BJP has been dealt a reality check in the form of local body polls that were swept by Congress.The four district council (zila parishad) seats at Banswara, Bhilwara, Jalore and Karauli were all won by the Congress with decent margins. Of the 27 panchayat samiti members, 16 went into the Congress kitty, while the BJP could only bag 10. Out of 14 urban local body seats, 7 were bagged by the Congress and 6 by BJP.Rajasthan PCC chief Sachin Pilot termed the results as a “moral defeat” of the “corrupt” Vasundhara Raje government. “The BJP government in Rajasthan has not worked to the aspirations of the people. There is widespread corruption, unemployment and inflation under this regime. The government is pretending to hold Jan Sunvais just to get through the bypolls. Over the last four years, the Congress has worked consistently as an opposition and raised the issues of the public. Under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, Congress will ensure BJP’s defeat,” said Pilot.The frontal attack has not only put the ruling BJP in a defensive position, but also made it concerned about the forthcoming bypolls. Two parliamentary and one Assembly seat have fallen vacant due to the demise of members, and the BJP is now concerned about its poll prospects at the fag end of this government’s tenure. It has also raised doubts about the party’s ability to retain the three seats.

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Rajasthan Panchayat bypoll: Congress snatches 4 zila parishad seats from BJP

Close on the heels of an improved performance in Gujarat, the Congress today won all the four zila parishad seats and also 16 of the 27 panchayat samiti seats and six nagar palika seats, for which bypolls were held.The ruling BJP had to remain content with 10 panchayat samiti seats although it won seven nagar palika wards. The saffron party could not even retain even a single of the four zila parishad seats that it held, according to the State Election Commission.The bypolls for 27 panchayat samitis of 19 districts, 14 nagar palikas of 12 districts and four zila parishads were held on December 17. “The results of the local bodies bypoll has proved that the countdown for the BJP in Rajasthan has begun. Congress has expressed the feelings of the people in the last four years and they have trust in the party,” Congress state president Sachin Pilot said. He predicted a similar result in the upcoming bypolls for the two parliamentary seats of Alwar and Ajmer and Mandalgarh Assembly seat.Bypolls on all the three seats have been necessitated due to sudden demise of two of the ruling BJP’s parliamentarians and a BJP legislator.The civic by-election results are a setback for the BJP as it lost two nagar palika wards in Baran district, which is a strong hold of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s MP son Dushyant Singh. However, state BJP spokesperson, Anand Sharma said that the result was good for the party as it has grabbed several seats earlier held by the Congress. In August, opposition Congress had won 19 out of the total 37 seats in bypolls to urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions while the ruling BJP had got ten.

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Narrow escape for jodi no 1 in Gujarat

Gujarat was indeed tough for BJP. And the ruling party knew that very well. No wonder Jodi No 1 – Narendra Modi and Amit Shah once again led from the front and saved BJP from blushes. Had this invincible Jodi taken this election for granted, the outcome would have easily been termed as referendum against Modi’s radical reforms including GST and demonetization. But the thin margin of 19 seats is enough to trigger a panic button for BJP, which is slated to face stiff challenge from rejuvenated Congress in major states like Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.The results have been a set back for BJP as it was claiming 150 seats but failed miserably to even touch the three figure mark. This is termed as a victory of two individuals rather than the party’s. The Jodi has so far created a record of sorts by winning 13 elections out of 15. Gujarat’s result may not savour well for BJP but it will definitely germinate internal democracy in the party. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are likely to be more flexible and receptive to ideas of other senior leaders. A green shoot was evident when Amit Shah, in a press conference allowed reporters to ask questions in otherwise what used to be one-sided press conferences.For Congress, this was a moral victory and led to an emergence of a strong leader in party. Rahul Gandhi, who had been relegated as a flop leader after a series of drubbings, is now being hailed as a leader who revived the ailing Congress. He showed consistency, maturity and quick decision making in his 40-day long campaign. For the first time, he looked like throwing direct challenge on Modi. With Rahul, Congress also discovered a shrewd strategist in Ashok Gehlot, who charioteered the election rath of Gandhi. People are saying that Gehlot may take up role of Ahmed Patel but it is not easy to replace Patel. However, still Gehlot might have a major say in Rahul’s decision making process in coming days.There’s much to cheer for Congress but the magic of Jodi No 1 is there to stay. At this moment, there is no apparent challenge to the domination of Modi-Shah, but the tight finish of Gujarat elections has given them enough food for thought ahead of 2019.

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BJP MP who predicted party’s loss in Gujarat eats humble pie; says PM hero, he is zero

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sanjay Kakade on Monday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory over Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections terming himself ‘Zero’ and latter the ‘Hero’.While addressing the media here, Kakade said, “I personally feel happy and elated for this victory of Prime Minister Modi; he has left the Gandhi family and Nehru behind in gaining people’s love. According to me, only ‘Modi factor’ has worked.”“I also accept that Prime Minister Modi is ‘hero’ while I’m ‘zero’ in comparison to him. In my earlier statement, I have said that BJP’s situation looked tight during the campaign; only because of ‘Modi magic’ everything worked well,” he added.Also readPune: BJP RS MP Sanjay Kakade predicts party’s loss in GujaratFurther hailing Prime Minister Modi’s rule, Kakade stated, it is for the first time that BJP has ruled for 27 years in a state.“It has happened for the first time in India that a certain party has ruled for 27 years in a state. This clearly shows that every community has accepted Modi ji from heart and mind.“I’m even confident with states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as we will win there too; because the Chief Ministers in both the states are working towards progress,” he further stated.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Rahul’s campaign reminded us of Indira Gandhi, ‘moral win’ for Congress, says Ashok Gehlot

Expressing satisfaction over the “moral win” in Gujarat Assembly elections, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Monday said the party, under the leadership of its president Rahul Gandhi, ran a very good campaign in the state. “Congress had a very good campaign in Gujarat, Rahul ji’s campaign reminded us of Indira ji,” Gehlot, who was the Congress election in-charge for Gujarat, said. The former Rajasthan Chief Minister said it was a win for Rahul’s issue based campaign. Also readAssembly Elections 2017: Amit Shah hails BJP win in Gujarat, HP as ‘victory of development over dynasty and polarisation”Whatever the results, it was moral win for Congress. It was a win for Rahul ji’s issue based campaign. BJP in home state of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi ji and (BJP President) Amit Shah ji is struggling to cross even 100,” Gehlot said. As per the official trends provided by the Election Commission at 4:12 pm, the BJP has already bagged 66 seats while it is leading on 33 others. Congress has won in 57 Assembly constituencies while its candidates are leading on 20 other seats.Also read5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th timeCongress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Congress and its allies are poised to win 84 seats. He counted two independents”Two Independents who won support Congress and so does the NCP. So the Congress+ tally right now is 84 and BJP is 98-99,” Surjewala said.

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Picture perfect: the effectiveness of pictorial health warnings on tobacco products

The Karnataka high court on Friday struck down the 2014 amendment rules that mandated pictorial health warnings to cover 85% of tobacco product packaging space on all tobacco products sold in India. It is worth mentioning that the pictorial warnings on both sides of packages of tobacco products came into effect in April 2016 following the direction of the Rajasthan High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court too made it mandatory. After the decision of Karnataka High Court, health activists and doctors in Rajasthan have expressed their worries about the adverse effects of diluting the pictorial warning.“The second edition of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) says that in Rajasthan 50.4% of cigarette smokers,47.4% of bidi smokers and 60.5% of smokeless tobacco users thought of quitting smokeless tobacco use because of warning label on the packets. These figures show that the bigger pictorial warning on pack is critical to protect our youth from the dangers of tobacco and the government’s earlier decision of 85% pictorial warnings on all tobacco packages should be defended,” said Jayesh Joshi, Secretary of Vaagdhara, an NGO working for tobacco control in Rajasthan. Highlighting the severity of tobacco triggered cancer, Dr Naresh Somani, senior consultant, Medical Oncology Department at Bhagwan Mahavir Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur said that in Rajasthan 30% of total cancers patients suffer from the cancer caused by tobacco use. “It is estimated that 30,000 new cancer patients every year reach to the hospital due to tobacco generated cancer. Cancers of oral cavity and lungs in males account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India,” he added.Raj takes the first step:Bigger pictorial warnings were first mandated by a notification issued in October 2014. Followed by the removal of the then Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan and the then Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju, the notification was then taken up suo motu by the Lok Sabha Committee on Subordinate Legislation, which asked the government to put the implementation on hold. While the implementation was then stayed, Rajasthan HC in July 2015 asked the government to implement it.Bigger the picture, bigger the impact:As per GATS-2, there has been a change in perception. 92% of adults surveyed under GATS-2 believed smoking caused serious illness, and 96% said use of smokeless tobacco causes serious illness. It was also found in survey that in Rajasthan 50.4% of cigarette smokers,47.4% of bidi smokers and .60.5% of smokeless tobacco users were planning or thinking of quitting tobacco use.Pictorial warning impact across IndiaIn India, more and more people of those still consuming tobacco are thinking of quitting on seeing pictorial warnings. AS PER GATS-262% feetcigarette smokers…54% feetbeedi users…46% feetsmokeless tobacco… …users are thinking of quitting because of pictorial warnings, compared with 38%, 29% & 34%, respectively during GATS-1

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Govt to 3D map state’s forts for better restoration

To make the conservation and restoration of Maharashtra’s crumbling forts a more efficient process, the state government has decided to use 3D mapping to assess their condition after the satellite technology was successfully used for the Sinhagad Fort near Pune.The State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums now plans to cover 15 forts, including Rajgad, which was the first capital of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in this project which is slated to be launched in the next financial year with the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre (MRSAC). These are also part of the first phase of the state government’s fort conservation plan.”This satellite mapping will deploy geo-informatics technologies like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for a topographic survey, remote sensing, GIS and GPS. The terrestrial LIDAR technology will be used at important locations since it is expensive. It will help map the condition of these forts and enable their repairs and restoration,” a senior official from the directorate told DNA.”This is the first such experiment where remote sensing will be used for archaeology,” noted Vilas Wahane, Assistant Director, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. “We have received data for Sinhagad from MRSAC which will be useful for creating master plans, removing encroachments, gardening and landscaping and creating drawings for conservation,” he added.An official said that while states like Rajasthan were using LIDAR for such assessments of forts, Maharashtra would be the first to deploy a combination of technologies.The official said the results of this exercise promise to fulfill a critical gap in conservation management — the lack of detailed mapping, surveys and condition assessments of the forts and heritage sites in Maharashtra.Maharashtra has 353 forts including 49 protected by the state government and 51 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).NEW TECH’Condition mapping’ reveals which part of the fort or its fortifications are weak, enables their strengthening, helps in conservation planning, removing encroachments, promotes tourism and enables gaming and virtual walk throughs based on the collected data. The other forts covered by the project are: Shirgaon (Konkan division), Kharda, Galna (Nashik division), Torna, Bhudargad (Pune division), Antur, Paranda, Dahur (Aurangabad division), Ausa, Kandhar, Mahur (Nanded division) and Nagardhan, Manikgad and Ambagad (Nagpur division).

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‘We are not safe here’: West Bengal workers leave Rajsamand village after Afrazul’s murder

Ten days after the brutal murder of Mohammad Afrazul Khan in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand, migrant workers from West Bengal are leaving the state in large numbers, a report said today. According to a report by The Indian Express, most of the quarters in Dhoinda village in the district where Afrazul lived are locked. Many of the occupants of these quarters were from Bengal’s Malda, the home district of Afrazul. Afrazul lived in Dhoinda village with his son-in-law and a cousin. Also readRajasthan hacking: Taslima Nasreen writes ‘intolerance at peak, Muslims can be killed easily’“I was in Rajasthan since the past decade to earn money but after seeing Afrazul’s half-charred body, I can’t stay here any longer,” Mohammed Ziaul Haq, a labourer, told the newspaper. Around 180 migrants from Malda lived in this village, with most working as labourers in the construction industry, according to a report in Scroll. Another report on the website claimed that over a hundred Muslim migrants have fled Rajsamand since the murder. Also readRajasthan hacking: Rs 2.75 lakh deposited in Shambulal Regar’s wife’s account before being frozenThere were many others like who are either leaving the state or preparing to do so as soon as feasible. Those who have stayed are distrustful of strangers.“We are not safe here and that’s why we are going back to West Bengal. We may earn less but at least our families won’t have to worry about our safety,” another labourer, Mohammed Rafiul, told the daily.Also readRajasthan hacking: Rs 2.75 lakh deposited in Shambulal Regar’s wife’s account before being frozenMohammad Afrazul, a labourer from Malda district, was hacked and burnt to death in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan on December 6. His alleged killer Shambhulal Regar burnt him alive and also uploaded a video of the crime on social media. Regar was later arrested. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has demanded “exemplary action” against the alleged killer. State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh recently said that people of West Bengal were going to the other states as the Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in the state had failed to create jobs.In response, Banrejee said it was only normal for the people of other states to come to Bengal and vice versa.West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had also promised jobs to those willing to return to West Bengal.She had said, “People of Rajasthan, UP, and Bihar work in Bengal. They have made this place their motherland and we have welcomed them as well. But if a person from West Bengal went to work in Rajasthan, why was he murdered? If these people want to return to Bengal, they can get their names enrolled at the respective district magistrate’s office.We will ensure that they get 200 days’ work in a year. The state can also provide for one-time financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to people like these, to set up their own business unit.” Watch: Murder over alleged ‘love jihad’ in Rajasthan

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Health services cripple, as doctors-Rajasthan govt in battle of attrition

Indefinite strike call by the in-service government doctors on Saturday severely hampered the health services at government health facilities across the state. The doctors posted in District Hospitals, Sub Divisional Hospitals, Community Health Centers (CHCs) and Primary Health Centers (PHCs) remained absent after declaring an indefinite strike, 48 hours prior to the given ultimatum.Meanwhile, the government remained firm on its stand and arrest of doctors continued on the second day. Doctors have called the government action the “Rowlatt Act”.Till Saturday evening, as per the state police headquarters, 52 doctors were arrested across the state for not attending their duties as the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA) is in force. The arrests were made in various districts including Ajmer, Sriganganagar, Bundi, Kota, Karauli, Dholpur, Swai Madhopur, Jhunjhunu, Jhalawar, Jaislamer, Tonk, Barmer and Bhilwara. Though, no doctor was arrested in Jaipur, the police raids were going on to nab the agitating doctors.It is worth mentioning that after the announcement of indefinite strike from December 18 made by the All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Association (ARISDA), state government has already extended RESM, imposed in September for next three months. This is the reason why the office-bearers of ARISDA, including main leaders of the agitation, have gone underground and switched off their mobile phones. However, these leaders are seeking support for the agitation social media.In an another development, the resident doctors have extended their support to in-service doctors’ agitation. In a statement, the Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors (JARD) said that any repressive action against the agitating doctors, resident doctors associated with JARD will also go on indefinite leave from December 18. In Jodhpur many doctors boycotted the work on Saturday to protest against the arrest of doctors. Jodhpur Collector Dr Ravi Kumar Surpur said that if the doctors refuse to resume their duties they will be arrested RESMA Act. He said that arrangements have been made to take the services of the doctors of Railways, AIIMS, army and BSF. He said that during the strike period AYUSH doctors will be deployed at primary health centres. Instructions have been issued to the ANM and other medical personnel to provide immediate treatment and refer serious patients to the district and medical colleges. He said that all relevant senior officers and police officers have been given instructions to take action against the striking doctors.

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Air force gets two more women pilot

The Indian Air Force got two more women fighter pilots on as Flying officers Pratibha and Shivangi Singh were commissioned on Saturday after completing their training and were part of the 105 cadets who became officers of the Indian Air Force. The passing out parade took place in HyderabadShivangi Singh and Pratibha have followed the footsteps of Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh who were commissioned as Flying Officers last year in July.The two fighter pilots will now be sent to the Bidar Air Force Station in Karnataka for more advanced training on Hawk trainer, Air Force sources said.Pratibha is from Rajgarh, Rajasthan and Shivangi hails from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.After a second phase of training that will last 15 months the duo will be assigned fighter squadrons.Rashi Raina, another women cadet who was being trained as a fighter pilot along with the two missed out this time as she was medically unfit following a recent crash during training.”There will be a review and she will be back to training once she is fit and will need to complete all the courses,” an Air Force source said.Talking about women being inducted as fighter pilots the Indian Air Force Chief BS Dhanao had said during his annual press conference in October that flying is a gender neutral like driving. “Women have to volunteer to become fighter pilots and have to make the cut,” he had said.

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Vijay Diwas: When Lt Gen Niazi-led 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered to Indian Army in 1971- 5 facts

India is today celebrating Vijay Diwas to mark the victory of our soldiers during the 1971 War.It is on this day in 1971 when our soldiers gave India its finest moment with victory over Pakistan and resulted in creation of Bangladesh.As the nation pays rich tributes to the heroes of 1971 War, here are five facts about the saga.1: Apart from the endless tales of valour what’s etched in every Indian’s memory if the photo of Pakistan Army surrendering to Indian Army soldiers. It was Lt Gen AAK Niazi, who led the 93,000 Pakistani soldiers to surrender to India Army Commander of eastern Command Lt Gen JS Arora.2: Indian Air Force, with its sheer brilliance change the course of wars. The Indian Air Force continued operations at an unprecedented pace of 500 sorties per day, a rate higher than in the Second World War.3: Frustrated over losses, Pakistan began attack on all fronts. Not only in east, Islamabad started targeting Delhi from west also.4: The strategy led to attack on Longewala in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district. The epic Battle of Longewala saw an Infantry company of 23 Punjab under Major (later Brigadier) KS Chandpuri, who withstood an assault by hundreds of tanks throughout the night. The Pakistan tanks were decimated the next morning by the Indian Air Force.5: The victory gave birth to a new country in Indian Subcontinent. Bangladesh was formed after India’s successful military campaign. Prior to this, East Pakistan, as it was known then, witnesses an era of imaginable brutality. A campaign of rape, torture, killings and conflicts pushed about nine million refugees into India following the widespread genocide which Pakistan conducted against the Bengali population of East Pakistan, aimed at the minority Hindu population

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Having A Ball

Even before they have taken to the field to ply their trade, the women athletes of para-volleyball have stamped their victory against the taboos they have been fighting since long. These fearless women have touched down in the city to play interstate sitting para-volleyball federation cup that will commence on December 16 at SMS Stadium. To everyone’s awe, these women have defeated physical challenges as well as social stigma to rise above self pity in an attempt to become the first to represent the nation at the International Paralympic games 2018. It is for the first time that a women’s team will be playing at the national level tournament. “Shy of exposing themselves and the challenges that came along kept many girls away from taking up para sports,” said H Chandrashekar, president Paralympic Volleyball Federation of India (PVFI). “It has been for a decade that we at the federation have been trying to build a national women’s team. This task will thankfully get accomplished this year,” he added. The federation has recently added a trained 8 women’s team across the country, six of these will play their first national level tournament in Jaipur over next couple of days. “We have held demo games in several states to set an example and motivate more girls to take up sports,” said a member of a women’s team. The teams from Telengana, Kerala, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan will participate in the tournament supported by BMVSS (Jaipur Foot) organisation. These girls are motivated to play at Paralympic 2018.Moreover, sitting volleyball is a regular paralympic event since 1980s. Played with a lower net and smaller court, this game requires players to be seated at a particular position. In India, the sport has been officially been recognised for over a decade. Its for the first time that such national level tournament of the game is being held in Jaipur.Dissolving disparityIn course of deciding the winners’ award, the organisers were faced with the gender disparity. An initial proposal regarding the award money had differences in awards for men and women achievers. This, however, came to notice of the tournament’s local partner BVMSS and it was resolved. “Sports dissolve differences and thus it is only right that we should not discriminate on the basis of gender while awarding the achievement,” said Deependra Mehta, secretary BMVSS. The federation admitted that it was due to fund concern that the difference was proposed, but was delighted that it got noticed on time.Raj’s tryst with the sportThe game has been catching up among able-bodied athletes of Rajasthan. The state has delivered couple of national and international level players, like Kaptan Singh and Papu Singh. The men’s team had emerged as a runner-up in the last National Para-Volleyball tournament and had qualified in the quarter-finals the previous year. The state got its first women’s team registered in beginning of this year.Jaipur Foot to the rescue of playersThe Paralympic tournament organisers have to face the challenge of attracting big and fancy sponsors and that is why it often lacks proper facilities. The Sitting Volleyball Cup in Jaipur though has found support from the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayta Samiti (BMVSS). “Our aim is to help in rehabilitation of people challenged by physical disabilities,” said Dr DR Mehta, chairperson of BMVSS. Also, it was BMVSS that volunteered to be a sponsor. Introduced to the game by an para volleyball player from Rajasthan, the BMVSS chairman was impressed with the enthusiasm of the players. Moreover, 12 men and 6 women teams will take part in the event. This year the winners will also be given a cash award. Journey of Indian Sitting VolleyballIt was in 2006 that the PVFI came in formal existence and since has been able to develop associations in 15 states. The PVFI team have participated in Asia Cup held by Para Volleyball Asian Oceania. Participated in Para Volleyball World Cup at Cambodia 2008, 2009 & 2011 Took part in Para Volleyball World C’ship 2010-11 in USA Won silver medal in Beach Volleyball 2011 held at Germany.

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Haryana NOC for IG canal repair: Nitin Gadkari

Injecting a boosting dose in Rajasthan’s infrastructure and irrigation works, the Union minister for road transport and water resources, Nitin Gadkari laid foundation stone of ambitious Parwan Irrigation water project. He also announced the completion of Jaipur’s Ring Road project in record deadline of one year and commence civil works on Greenfield Express highway between Jaipur and Delhi, soon.“Whatever commitments I make, I fulfill,” said Gadkari as a chief guest addressing a function in Baran which was presided by the chief minister, Vasundhara Raje. Fetching water from Yamuna River to Rajasthan, restoration of Indira Gandhi Canal and uses of ethanol as a fuel for farmers were also proclaimed by the minister from the stage.He emphasised that he is working on schemes contentiously to supply water to the desert state and increase earnings of the farmers.“At the time of the partition, six rivers were divided between India and Pakistan equally. However, three rivers which India had, flow into Pakistan. I have directed my officials to draft a plan to turn their water to our states. In continuance of this, water from Yamuna will be brought to Rajasthan. Also we are working to bring Narmada river water here,” said Gadkari adding that in future land of farmers will not be acquired for canal projects and underground pipeline will be laid to supply water for irrigation.“Rajasthan will soon get NOC (no objection certificate) from Haryana Government to repair IG canal. I had dialogue with CM Manohar Lal Khattar,” spoke Gadkari, laying stress that he is working on schemes contentiously to supply water to the desert state and increase earnings of the farmers.Gadkari, who also got portfolio of water resources in latest cabinet reshuffle, also unfolded his plan to increase earning of farmers with his pet project of alternate cheaper fuel. “I am working for a plan in which ethanol could be used as a fuel by the farmers. This fuel is much cheaper than petrol and diesel. I will table the scheme next week in the parliament. Rajasthan needs to make a policy in this context too.”Green highway express project envisaged to connect Delhi and Jaipur is in limboand land required for it is still pending. Gadkari referred this and promised that land acquisition for the project will commence next month and soon it will be a reality. “And also, Jaipur ring road project will be completed in one year,” Gadkari promised to the gathering assembled at Baran.

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People have made up mind, will support Cong: Sachin Pilot

Congress workers need to take bypoll in Alwar and Ajmer seriously as it will impact assembly election slated next year, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president, Sachin Pilot said, calling upon local leaders and workers in ‘Mera Booth-Mera Gaurav programme’ in Alwar on Friday. A day back Pilot was in Ajmer where he extensively toured and campaigned the rural belt.Pilot, who is into poll mode after chief minister Vasundhara Raje visited both the parliamentary constituencies recently, addressed workers and boosted their morale ahead of bypoll at the function in Alwar’s Tijara. Thousands of workers from Tapukhada and Bhiwadi along with Tijara were present at the function.“The way general public is attracted towards Congress, it is quite visible that people have made up their mind and they will give their blessings to the party to serve them. Wherever we are touring, common people who are suffering of BJP government’s anti-people policies are extending their support and attending the programmes at large,” said Pilot here.The party head further took a dig on the government’s celebration programme being held on the occasion of completing four years in the office. “BJP government has been in power for 4 years and it is celebrating this. Despite 4 years of rule, no work of development has been done in the state. Through this by-election, people have got the opportunity to show mirror to the BJP government,”added the PCC chief.

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Bailable warrant against mayor Ashok Lahoti

Lokayukta justice SS Kothari has issued a bailable warrant against Jaipur Mayor Ashok Lahoti for not appearing in a matter related to non-formation of standing committee in the civic body, despite serving him summon twice. A fine of Rs5000 has been imposed against the mayor with a show cause notice.The office of Lokayukta took strict legal against the First Person of the city for non-compliance of directions which Kothari had issued him in a case related to encroachment. As per the case, a five-storied building was constructed by a builder on plot no C-100 in the C Scheme area while permission was sanctioned to build only two stories. But, the municipal corporation did not take any action against the illegal building.Later, when the JMC issued a notice the builder moved in the Rajasthan High Court. Hearing his petition, the court directed the JMC to dispose application of the builder pertaining to regularizing his construction within six weeks and till the decision on the regularization was taken, the building would not be demolished, said the court order dated February 6, 2012. Five years passed since the order but the application by the builder remains indisposed, which appears to save the building. It is to be mentioned here that such application are disposed of by a standing committee which has no existence in JMC currently.Taking a call on the very issue, the office of Lokayukta summoned him to be appeared at his office on November 16 which he skipped. He not complied the direction when summoned again in December 8, inviting a fine of Rs2000. The Lokayukta took his indiscipline seriously and issued a bailable warrant of Rs2000 and Rs5000 notice against the mayor. Fine of Rs2000 issued earlier exists also. Lahoti has been asked to appear on January 18.

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Rajasthan HC sets guidelines for religious conversion

A double bench at the Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur has issued guidelines that religious conversion would be possible only after a mandatory intimation and clearance by the district collector, SDM, SDO. The guidelines were set while hearing a habeas corpus case of 22-year-old Payal aka Areefa who had converted to Islam after she married a certain Faiz Modi.This declaration of conversion was done on a ten rupee stamp paper. The court observed that merely declaring on a stamp paper that an individual is converting religion would not be considered legally valid. This guideline would remain effective till the Rajasthan Dharma Swatantraya Bill 2007, which is pending for the last 11 years, is cleared.Hearing the petition Justices GK Vyas and VK Mathur issued the guidelines. The court ordered that anyone who wants to convert will have to inform the district collector in writing. This information, including his name, address and details about the sought conversion would be displayed on the notice board at the collectorate.Once the application has been filed, after 21 days the applicant can appear before the district collector, SDM, SDO and explain reasons for the conversion. The guidelines said that objections would also be recorded. The court clarified that in case this procedure was not adopted then marriages performed after conversion would not be considered valid. The court further said that the person seeking conversion would have to confirm before the DM, SDM, SDO that he had faith in the religion he was converting to.

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During 1947, leadership was influenced by western ideology: Suresh Joshi

The number two leader of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Suresh (Bhaiya JI) Joshi said that the development model adopted in the country after independence is not our model. This is a foreign model. After independence, the leadership of the then country was influenced by western ideology.Bhaiya Ji was addressing the lecture organised on the topic “Relevance of Ekatma-manavvad (integral humanism)”. Joshi said that Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay has done the task of keeping basic thinking in front of the society, and that is what we know as integral humanism.The country became independent, but we could not distinguish between the Suraj and the Swaraj. Therefore, the need for remembering those great men once again was needed. Pandit Upadhyay placed this thought in front of everyone. An opportunity came in 1947. Considering all the development plans taken on the basis of contemplation of Western thought could have been the matter of adding to the original stream. But unfortunately, this country’s leadership of that time was influenced by western ideas and western education. Considering the development model which was going in the world that time, it was accepted in the country also. From the legal point of view, India emerged as an independent country, but our country did not run independently nor did it run on its ideology. There was an opportunity in 1947 which we lost. Following west became our destinyExpressing his concern over environmental damage due to modernity and industrialization, Joshi said that we have to work for the reconstruction of the environment. The more you take, the same should be taken from nature.On this occasion, Mahesh Chandra Sharma, President of Ekatm-Manvvad Research and Development Institute, said that the path Independent India should follow was shown by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. DIGNITARIES PRESENT DURING EVENTChief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University Prof RK. Kothari, RSS leader Durgadas and Nimbaram and other dignitaries were also present during the occasion. Expressing his concern over environmental damage due to modernity and industrialization, Joshi said that we have to work for the reconstruction of the environment.

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Soon, ancient havelis, forts to be in commercial use

Ancient heritage havelis and forts can be used for commercial purpose now, with a rider of not altering their traditional look. The user will have to file affidavit for this. Soon, the state government will implement state heritage conservation and protection rules.Local self-government department has prepared draft of state heritage conservation and protection rules for conservation of heritage buildings, folk art, culture, dance and paintings. The proposal has been sent to LSG minister Srichand Kriplani’s approval.The BJP government had tabled Rajasthan heritage conservation bill in the state assembly two years ago. However, it faced opposition from its own ministers and MLAs who belonged to erstwhile royal families. They were not happy about government interference in conservation of private heritage buildings forcing the government to withdraw the bill.Now, the government has come up with state heritage conservation and protection rules, which unlike the bill does not have strong provisions regarding government interference.Notably, any heritage building can be used commercially, even if it is in non-commercial zone in the master plan.The owner of the building will have to give affidavit for not distorting the heritage look of the building. However, repair will be allowed, keeping the traditional look of the building intact. While the owner will get 25% rebate in urban development tax for conservation of building. All concessions entailed in tourism policy will be extended to heritage conservation projects. While the proposed state heritage council can enter an agreement with the building owner for heritage conservation, government will not be responsible for heritage conservation of private buildings. Also permission for commercial use will be withdrawn if the heritage look is distorted.Highlights of rules to beState heritage council to be constituted Principal Secretary LSG will head the council Council will categorise heritage on basis of aesthetics, history, culture, scientific, social and spirituality State heritage centre to be formed to give technical advice Heritage buildings will receive grades 1, 2 and 3 City heritage cell to be constituted in all cities headed by municipal body chairman Unified building bylaws to be issued for construction in heritage buildings and their vicinity Construction permission as per advice of council Conservation area to be notified in periphery of the building

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Rajasthan innovations shine, DLB Pawan Arora receives award

It was a proud moment for the state as the director of local bodies of Rajasthan, Pawan Arora received National Energy Conservation Award 2017 of union energy ministry on Thursday. The award has been bestowed on Rajasthan DLB for exemplary work in ‘Street Light’ category. The state with 8.67 lakh LED street lights is ahead of all other states.The national level award was presented to Rajasthan DLB, Pawan Arora at a function of Union Energy Ministry held at Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi on occasion of Energy Conservation Day on Thursday. The Directorate of local bodies was also awarded the Rajasthan Energy Conservation Award 2017 by the Rajasthan energy department at a state level program held at Jaipur on the day.It has been for the consecutive year that the DLB has bagged the state level award for energy conservation through replacing traditional road lights with LED lights. The initiative has helped the Directorate to save on Rs 146.56 crore in expenditure on street light electricity consumption and saved 1832 lakh units of electricity for the state at large. Until December 12, 2017, there were 4130007 units of LED lights and Rajasthan has maximum share of these.REIL AWARDEDA ‘mini ratna’ public sector enterprise based at Jaipur, Rajasthan Electronics and Instrument Limited (REIL) has been awarded the National Energy Conservation Awards 2017 in Office and BPO Building category. The award was presented by President Ramnath Kovind to REIL managing director, A K Jain at the award ceremony held at Delhi. Replacing its older machinery and equipment with energy-efficient equipment, REIL has been able to reduce its consumption by 1 lakh units in 2016-17. It has also been awarded by the Rajasthan Energy Conservation Award 2017.FOR JMRC TOOThe Jaipur Metro Railway Corporation (JMRC) has been awarded in two categories of the Rajasthan Energy Conservation Award 2017. The metro corporation has been awarded in government department category and the JMRC Chandpole station has been awarded for energy conservation in the commercial building category. The metro through various innovations such as keeping down the standby transformers, running escalators on idle mode and efficient management of chilling plant has been able to save 13 lakh units of electricity in 2016-17.

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Precarious parenting

How much do 400 rupees mean to most of us? May be a popcorn bucket for kids on a weekend movie show or petrol bill for a couple of days office commutation during week days. But for Kamali a 23-year-old from Jharniya village in Banswara district, it is an amount enough to put her ‘to be born’ baby on risk. Kamali, is an expecting mother with a due date to deliver an issue in February. In her 30th week of pregnancy, Kamali did not go for any Ante Natal Checkup (ANC) so far. She has a reason for that.“We are daily wage labourers and that’s how we feed our five-member family,” Kamali explained. “Due to my pregnancy, our earning has already reduced to half as I am unable to go for work and in such a condition I cannot afford to take my husband along, who has to cover a distance of 28 kilometre to reach his workplace, for my check up at Anganwadi Center as it will mean a complete loss of a day’s earning. We can’t afford,” she added.Kamali represents lakhs of pregnant women in Rajasthan who have not received a single ANC during their pregnancy and her reason to avoid mother and child care facilities is the most common one that puts lakhs of mothers and their unborns life at risk. “Clearly, we see that financial loss matters more for them compared to the health. So there was a need to compensate their financial loss in order to motivate them to visit Anganwadi or health centres.” Manoj Jain, Additional Director (Nutrition) at Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) said.“For the purpose, State Women and Child Development Department has rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) in the state. Now, all the pregnant women and lactating mothers, in the state, who have their first pregnancy can get the benefits of PMMVY. PMMVY is the union government aided scheme to benefit pregnant women and lactating mothers for the birth of their first live child. Beneficiary will get Rs 5,000 in three instalments at the stage of early registration of pregnancy, after six months of pregnancy on at least one antenatal check-up and registration of child birth and first cycle of immunization of the child. All the pregnant women and lactating mothers who have their first pregnancy on or after 1 January 2017 can avail the scheme benefits now.“The benefit amount would be send directly to the bank account of the beneficiary through Direct Benefit Transfer mode,” said Manoj Jain.SCHEME TO CONTROL INFANT MORTALITY RATEAs per SRS bulletin 2016, IMR in Rajasthan is 41 deaths per 1,000 live births It is far more than the national IMR of 34 per 1,000 live births. Birth asphyxia, low birth weight are leading causes of deaths of infants in the state. IMR in rural areas is 45 which is almost 50% more than the IMR in urban areas. IMR in rural Rajasthan is 30 which is 30% more than the national rural IMR figure of 23. ABOUT PRADHAN MANTRI MATRU VANDANA YOJANARajasthan rolled out the scheme on December 5, 2017. 5-6 lakh pregnant women will be benefited per year. Total Rs 5,000 will be given to each pregnant woman and lactating mother. Scheme means to motivate for ANC and immunization, through financial assistance. THE AMOUNT WILL BE PAID IN 3 INSTALLMENTSRs 1000 at the time of registration of pregnancy.Rs 2,000 At least one ANC carried out after six months of pregnancy.Rs 2,000 The birth of child registered and the child received first cycle of vaccines, including BCG, OPV, DPT and hepatitis-B.

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Foundation of projects worth crores today

Union minister for Road Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari is expected to lay foundation stones and inaugurate road works worth Rs727 crores in a programme at Baran district on Friday. Foundation laying ceremony of Parwan Irrigation project envisaged to provide water to 2 lakh hectare land in Hadoti region may also mark in the same program which will be chaired by the chief minister Vasundhara Raje.The desert state takes a big leap in infrastructure whenever Gadkari visits. Almost three months back, Prime minister Narendra Modi and Gadkari came to Udaipur and the former inaugurated highway and road projects worth Rs15,000 crore for the entire state. At that time, a major announcement was made by Gadkari to boost Rajasthan infra while spending around Rs2 trillion in the next five years for building the road and national highways in Rajasthan.With his focus, Rajasthan rolls with infra projects, and those big projects which were limbo for several years. One of such big projects is Parwan irrigation project, which will do away water needs in three districts-Baran, Jhalawar and Kota. Gadkari may lay the foundation stone of the project.Rajasthan expects financial assistance from the center to speed up works in the project that costs nearly Rs6489 crores. Raje, in several meetings, discussed it and Gadkari gave assurance as well. Parwan project, the project got embroiled in several controversies regarding displacement of tribals, the forests land getting submerged and most important, the project is brought in only to benefit two thermal power projects. According to the sources, Gadkari has scheduled visit to Baran to lay foundation stone, though final consent is still awaited.

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Rajasthan to give financial aid to mums, pregnant women

Given that many women do not visit Anganwadi centres for antenatal check-ups for fear of losing on a day's wage, the government rolled out the PMMVY scheme. "We see that financial loss matters more to them compared to health, So there was a need to compensate their financial loss in order to motivate them to visit Anganwadi or health centres," Manoj Jain, Additional Director (Nutrition) at Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) said.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByAmit Bhatt <!–end of artlbotbor–>Friday 15 December 2017 2:40 ISTMust readSec 144 imposed at Udaipur, net, social media muzzledNGC gears up: Solar energy of ‘Thar’ to illuminate Gujarat & Punjab<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Rajasthan Women and Child Development Department has rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) under which all pregnant women and lactating mothers in the state will get financial aid during their first pregnancy.Beneficiaries will get Rs 5,000 in three instalments — first during the early registration of pregnancy, second after six months on at least one antenatal check-up, and the last one during the first cycle of the child’s immunisation.Given that many women do not visit Anganwadi centres for antenatal check-ups for fear of losing on a day’s wage, the government rolled out the PMMVY scheme. “We see that financial loss matters more to them compared to health, So there was a need to compensate their financial loss in order to motivate them to visit Anganwadi or health centres,” Manoj Jain, Additional Director (Nutrition) at Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) said.

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Cheers & jeers

Congress’s eccentric ‘inventions’ to attack Raje government for its alleged failures in past four years continue to be revealed without any break. A day after Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president, Sachin Pilot revealed a ‘digital bill board’ showing countdown of the ruling party in power, the Leader of Opposition, Rameshwar Dudi on Wednesday appeared with a ‘black box’. The black box (an electronic recording device placed in aircrafts) when recovered post accident of a plane, ascertains the technical cause of the mishap and accordingly a factual report is drafted. Implying the same concept metaphorically, Dudi brought a box in which 52 cards were written with the causes (read scams, failures, issues and broken promises” which, according to him, detail Raje’s government crashing. “The CM in Suraj Sankalp Patra had made 611 poll promises, of them, even 40 percent were not fulfilled. I have 52 questions in the ‘black box’, which is a bundle of promises which have not worked out till date. I will forward the box to the CM, ministers and MLAs seeking their reply and also the same will be tabled in next assembly session,” told Dudi to the scribes, accusing the government further for using public money to celebrate its fourth anniversary, while it did nothing for them. He expressed confidence that party will come into the power with a thumb majority. The issues written on cards ask questions about poor implementation of ambitious projects- Metro and Refinery, non compliance of complete loan waiver for farmers, poor state of Indira Gandhi Canal, ownership of Dholpur palace, unemployment, Mining scam, farmers suicide, increasing rate of crimes, death of newborn in the government hospitals and delay in Banswara rally project etc. In two days, the Congress leaders were found cornering Raje government on achievements it claims.

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Firing range, four tanks setup at Raj Varsity soon

The University of Rajasthan will soon have a firing range within the campus for training and practice of National Cadet Corps cadets. This was decided during a meeting between officials from NCC Rajasthan and professor RK Kothari, vice chancellor, University of Rajasthan, on Wednesday.Furthermore, the vice chancellor has also decided to set up four tanks as war souvenirs at various parts of the university campus. The officials also discussed several other points on the development of practice and training activities within the university.Professor Kothari also received the rank of ‘Colonel’ by the National Cadet Corps, Rajasthan, during the meeting. The title was given by deputy director general of NCC, Rajasthan, Commodore Tarun Kumar. It is to be noted that professor Kothari was an NCC cadet during his college years.Principals of various city-based colleges, which fall under the purview of the University of Rajasthan, including, professor Amita Sharma, professor Kailash Agarwal, professor JP Yadav, along with NCC officer in charge of Rajasthan University, captain Rajesh Kumar Sharma and other NCC officials were also present during the meeting.It is to be noted that several steps are being taken by the officials of the university for the overall development of campus and infrastructure of the University of Rajasthan.A central library is also being developed under the same objective.

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Chennai cop gunned down by robbers in Pali

Periya Pandi, a police inspector from Chennai was shot dead by robbers early Wednesday morning at a shutdown brick kiln in Ramavas village of Pali district. The robbers he was trying to nab shot him with his own service revolver. Pandi was reportedly in Pali to nab a gang of burglars who had stolen gold, silver and cash from a jewellery shop in Chennai in November.Periya Pandi was from the Maduravoli police station. The accused Nathuram Jat and his accomplices had been traced to be the residents of Ramavas village of Pali district in Rajasthan. The incident took place in the early hours of Wednesday at Ramavas village in Jaitaran area of Pali district. The seven-member Chennai police team had received information that the accused were hiding in a closed down brick klin. The team of Chennai police had seven members; 2 inspectors, 2 sub-inspectors and three constables. Two waited in their vehicle while five went into the kiln.The Tamil Nadu police managed to nab the accused and were taking him out towards their vehicle when they were attacked by the family of the accused. Four of the policemen managed to get out of the kiln, but Pandi could not get away.The accused reportedly pulled out Pandi’s revolver from the holster and shot at him. Jat managed to get away. The injured inspector of Chennai was taken to the hospital at Jaitaran, but he died on the way. One other policeman has sustained minor injuries. According to SP Pali, Deepak Bhargava, “The team from Chennai was in Jaitaran for last two days. They had contacted the local police about their presence, but left for Ramavas village late Tuesday without informing us.”“The team was looking for Nathuram Jat who is wanted for a burglary that took place in Chennai on November 16. The robbers had got away with 3.5 kg gold, 5 kg silver and 2 lakh cash,” said Bhargava“One shot was fired and we have recovered the bullet shell. Prima facie we can say that the bullet entered Pandi’s body from under the right arm and exited the body from under the left arm,” said Bhargava. On receiving the information, local police reached the spot. Blockades have been ordered in the district to nab the accused. The body of the deceased officer has been taken to Jodhpur for post-mortem. It is expected to be flown to Chennai tomorrow.

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NGC gears up: Solar energy of ‘Thar’ to illuminate Gujarat & Punjab

Solar energy of the sandy areas of Jodhpur and Bikaner divisions will illuminate many villages of Punjab and Gujarat. National Grid Corporation has geared up and accelerated the work of laying the main line of 8000 KV for green energy corridor i.e. electronics corridor for solar energy production. It has also set a target to complete this work by August 2018. At present, the production of Jodhpur and Bikaner was not fully utilised at the local level. Now it is preparing to connect Moga of Punjab and Banaskantha of Gujarat.According to the plan, these corridors will link Jodhpur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Nagaur, etc, districts to Moga of Punjab and Banaskantha of Gujarat. Four substations have already been prepared for this. When it will be ready, the solar energy that will be created in Jodhpur and Bikaner, which produces the highest solar energy, will start illuminating entire northern India. It is worth mentioning that in the case of energy, 740 kV Bhakra power is the largest power line in the state whereas this is going to be 8 thousand kV line.Alok Dubey, Deputy General Manager, National Power Grid Corporation said that the project aims to be completed by August 2018. After this, investors in the Green Energy Corridor are expected to plant power plants from the state.The main line will be started from Banaskantha of Gujarat, which will reach Chittorgarh, Ajmer, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Hanumangarh in Rajasthan and Moga of Punjab. Five GSS at Banaskantha, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bikaner, and Moga are being made for this. GSS of Badla Solar Plant in Phalodi area of ​​Jodhpur district and GSS will be set up at the place of mines in Jamsar of Bikaner. At present, GSS of Jodhpur and Bikaner are producing the highest solar energy but 3 percent of it goes in power theft. After a corridor, this problem will not happen and people will get the full power here.THE MASTER PLANAccording to the plan, these corridors will link Jodhpur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Nagaur, etc, districts to Moga of Punjab and Banaskantha of Gujarat. Four substations have already been prepared for this. When it will be ready, the solar energy that will be created in Jodhpur and Bikaner, which produces the highest solar energy, will start illuminating. The main line will be started from Banaskantha, which will reach Chittorgarh, Ajmer, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Hanumangarh in Rajasthan and Moga of Punjab. Five GSS at Banaskantha, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bikaner, and Moga are being made for this.

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Sachin Pilot ‘ticks off’ Raje govt on fourth anniversary

A day before Raje government 4 years anniversary, the Congress on Tuesday unveiled a ‘digital countdown billboard’ at the party headquarters and expressed confidence in registering a victory in the assembly polls. The Congress party leaders also staged a protest at the district headquarters against the government’s celebration and called it a waste of public money.Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot in a press conference unveiled the clock and also released a book detailing fulfillment of claims and budget announcements made by the BJP so far under the rule.“It is immoral for the BJP government to celebrate the anniversary by spending public money. If it wants to celebrate, it should use party fund. The party leaders have protested against the misrule of the government which has been a complete failure to meet the promises committed by the party,” Pilot said at press conference held at party headquarters.Accusing the saffron party-led government of increasing rate of crimes, keeping farmers waiting for loan waiver, the death of thousand cows due to corruption, bulldozing temples in Jaipur and cheating the government employees in the name of 7th pay commission, Pilot made a scathing attack. The leader also took on Raje government for privatization of education and health institutions terming the decision bad for the commoners. “To set political scores, the government privatized education and health institution. It reduced the budget allocations for both sectors and even the poor, budget was not allocated to the department in time which resulted in the death of 32,000 newborns per year in Rajasthan.The pilot also accused the Raje government of corruption. He blamed that be it mines scam, LED scam, sand mining, giving contracts to NGOs under MJSY Scheme, BJP government was mired in corruption. “One 9W LED bulb was purchased at Rs 972 which is available at Rs 100 in the market, only 9 per cent of MoUs done in Resurgent Rajasthan realised on the ground, government schools were shut, free medicines availability has reduced, subsidy on agriculture support equipment was reduced.”

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Ashok Gehlot game for the third generation Gandhi

This is the third generation of Gandhi family, Ashok Gehlot is working with. Since Indira Gandhi days when he was hand picked and made deputy union minister for tourism and civil aviation, he has been a true loyalist. His proximity with Rajiv Gandhi and then Sonia Gandhi is well known in political circle. And now his new found chemistry with Rahul Gandhi is creating waves. If Gujarat has come within the striking distance for Congress, credit goes to the dual efforts of Rahul and Gehlot. While Gehlot puts in his more than 4-decade rich political acumen in force, Rahul with his sheer boldness and untiring campaigning made it tough for PM Modi and his team.Gehlot, who was not considered a natural ally for Rahul Gandhi, has become his shadow.“He has virtually taken up number two position after Rahul in the party. It was quite evident when he was seen instructing senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and others during poll campaign in Gujarat,” said a senior Congressman.The miraculous revival of dead Congress in Gujarat has made Gehlot a national leader from a regional satrap. Now the party looks upto him for a larger role. A role which can bring back Congress in the 2019 elections.Senior party leaders have started speculating his future role even before results of Gujarat elections. Some say that he may play the role to Rahul what Ahmad Patel played to Sonia except the fund raising part as Gehlot is not comfortable in generating money for the party. Gehlot is the discovery of Gujarat elections for Congress. The way he brokered alliances Congress with youth power of Hardin Patel, Jignesh Mewani and Alpesh Thakore, he emerged as true ‘Chanakya’ of Congress.“Now Gehlot has overgrown for state politics. In Rajasthan elections also, Gehlot may have a say in ticket distribution and overall strategy but chances have brighten for Sachin to Pilot the elections,” said a senior party leader.The situation suits well to Vasundhara Raje also. She considers Gehlot as more fierce opponent than Pilot.“Pilot is aggressive and well placed to give a tough fight to BJP. Since Pilot has not been able to register any major victory against BJP during Raje’s rule, she is more comfortable contesting against him,” said a BJP leader.

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Mamata Banerjee to labourers wishing to return: Will give 200 days’ work

Following the incident in Rajasthan, wherein Mohammad Afrazul Khan, a labourer hailing from the Malda district of West Bengal, was killed by a youth, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said labourers who had migrated to other states, if feeling insecure, could return to Bengal, where the government will give them work for 200 days in a year.The CM was speaking at a public meeting in the Kotshila area of the Purulia district.”People of Rajasthan, UP, and Bihar work in Bengal. They have made this place their motherland and we have welcomed them as well. But if a person from West Bengal went to work in Rajasthan, why was he murdered? If these people want to return to Bengal, they can get their names enrolled at the respective district magistrate’s office. We will ensure that they get 200 days’ work in a year. The state can also provide for one-time financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to people like these, to set up their own business unit,” Mamata said.She added that in BJP-ruled states, such as Gujarat and Rajasthan, not only Muslims but Christians and Dalits also were facing attacks, but it didn’t happen in Bengal, where all lived peacefully.Mamata claimed that Purulia, the district once dominated by Maoists, was a developed area at present, but the adjoining Jharkhand, which was also inhabited by tribals, failed to do so.”There is an abundance of natural mineral in Jharkhand but they could not make best use of it. The Had TMC been there, we would have reaped a golden harvest. In fact, the land of the tribal people was taken away forcefully, which we had protested against,” she said.Interestingly, another resident of Bankura district has reportedly been killed in Kerala. The youth, Hemanta Roy, had gone to Kerala to work as an electrician three months ago. His body with his throat slit was discovered on Sunday night. Talking to DNA over the phone, S Surendran, district police chief of Alappuzha district, Kerala, said Roy’s case looked like suicide. “Prima facie investigation showed that it was a self-inflicted wound but we would be able to tell something concrete after the post-mortem report arrives,” he said.

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We will not tolerate acts like Rajasamand: Vasundhara Raje

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been in the public eye of late, especially after controversies over ‘Padmavati’ and the Rajsamand hacking of a Muslim man. DNA’s Sangeeta Pranvendra speaks to the CM as she enters the final year of her term. Edited excerpts:Looking back, how satisfied are you with your performance?Four years is a very short period. I cannot say I am satisfied, it is a work in progress. We have done some good work and with the continuation of programmes you will see Rajasthan upwardly mobile. We inherited a shaky economy. The four years have been used to change despondence to hope because of opportunities.What can one expect from the 5th Budget of this tenure?In the next budget, announcements will be minimised, it will be about implementation. Our focus will on delivery. Don’t hate crime incidents like in Rajsamand highlight the need for sprucing up the law-and-order situation?I condemn such acts. We will not tolerate them. Immediate action was taken in the Rajsamand case, and let me tell you, all people irrespective of their caste community are equal before us.Doctors are agitating, govt employees are striking over pay commission implementation. Why is this not being addressed?In a democracy all have a right to put across their opinion. But doctors have to address their human responsibilities too. As for the employees, they are our backbone and I have always been with them. But they too will have to understand our financial condition.There have been several communal incidents across the state…The government is committed to control all such incidents immediately. The police has done a good job in containing the incidents. I congratulate the police.Padmavati controversy has prompted you to ban the film in the state. How fair is this?Padmini is an issue of pride not just for Rajasthan but for the entire country. We support an artist’s right to expression, but injury to our dignity will not be accepted. We have merely respected public sentiment.

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Stubbing the stub

At a time when number of deaths caused by cancer continue to be a matter of concern among governments and health experts, Rajasthan has recorded a significant decrease in overall tobacco consumption including smoking and smokeless tobacco use. The second edition of the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS 2) revealed that tobacco consumption has been the main reason of oral cancer during last seven years.According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) released by state health minister Kalicharan Saraf here on Monday, consumption of smokeless tobacco such as khaini and gutkha went down by 4.8 per cent from 18.9 in 2009-10 to 14.1 in 2016-17 and smoking went down by 5.6 per cent from 18.8 to 13.2. From GATS 1 to GATS 2, the prevalence of any tobacco use has also significantly decreased by 7.6 percentage points from 32.3 per cent in GATS 1 to 24.7 per cent in GATS 2.“It is the efforts made by the state government that is reflecting in GATS 2,” Saraf said. Though he denied any possibility of total tobacco ban in the state. “Ban (on tobacco) is not a solution as it involves the risks of malpractices such as smuggling and black marketing. We are committed to reduce tobacco consumption and for that awareness will be spread at the grassroots,” said Saraf.As per the survey, bidi and gutka are the two most commonly used tobacco products in the state as 11.4 per cent of adults smoke bidi and 9.0 per cent of adults use gutka. The mean age for initiation of tobacco use has increased from 17.0 years in GATS1 to 18.4 years in GATS 2.Principal secretary, health, Veenu Gupta said that the actions should be taken considering the youth between the age group of 18 to 35 years. She also suggested that at the places in the state where manufacturing is associated with people’s livelihood, bidi workers should to be trained for alternative means of living through skill development.

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